The Swimmer’s Assistant
What the Author/Publisher Says:
Meet Jane Williams. She doesn’t understand the popularity of Twilight, can’t walk properly in high heels, struggles to speak Starbucks (venti what?), and nearly drowned in the toilet when she was a baby.
Meet Brian Parker. He’s a star swimmer with a temper and has just hired Jane to be his assistant as he trains for the London Olympics.
Enter the problem. Jane has developed feelings for Brian which is ridiculous because he has a dog who hates her, he chews with his mouth open, and has a perfect Twilight-obsessed girlfriend named Vanessa who plays Cinderella at Disneyland. Surely her crush can’t amount to anything. Or can it? There was that time when they nearly kissed…..
What I say:
Originally, when I started reading the author’s blog a while back and she mentioned (a few times) that she’d written a book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know much about it, and the only hint at her writing style was the blog. I will say that I was curious, though. When she announced that it was released, curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded the free sample. I had no intention on reading the whole thing until I finished my current classes and had a break. Still, I decided that there was no harm in reading the sample (which is typically about 10% of the story). I read it. Over all, it was a fairly easy read (the sample) with only one weird thing which I mentioned to the author and I’m sure she’s going to fix. After reading the sample (which just stops, mid page), I decided that I had to finish reading it. For-pleasure reading (as opposed to tortured school reading) is only done at night, so it took me a few nights to finish it.
The language wasn’t difficult or haughty (lately some of the things I have been reading seem to take perfectly normal speech and then switch it up with awkward words from the thesaurus). The ideas and plot flowed, there was foreshadowing, and there wasn’t much in the way of strange wording of phrases (except, of course the previously mentioned one, and then getting a saying backwards (per my notes… I make notes while I read, otherwise I’d not remember what it was that grabbed me at that minute)). It was when Vanessa was speaking (location 14185)… “A moment on the hips, a lifetime on the lips”… however, that might have been intentional seeing as that other than being vindictive, perhaps Vanessa isn’t very bright. I didn’t think to email the author and ask her about that. Maybe I should?
The story has a lot of different elements that make it feel as if it could be really real. There are fart jokes, lots of product/pop culture placement, and funny tees. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to imagine the characters as the characters, but rather I imagined the author for Jane and her swim-crush as Brian, but that’s only because there’s a lot of the writer in the main female character. It’s not a bad thing, but I doubt that the author actually meant for that to happen. So, of course I got to imagine the author in cartoon cake panties and was scarred for life. Just kidding.
All in all, it’s an easy read with good flow, plot development and just enough sweetness to make it work. The only thing I think the author could have done is make there more tension in the build up, but that’s a personal preference (what can I say, I like a tortured soul or two). The spelling and grammar was spot-on (which is very important), and it works. The dialogue is realistic, and the characters have just enough details that they’re not set in stone, leaving the reader to be able to use their imagination (if they have one, if they don’t… I imagine they’d just think of stick people with the generalized characteristics of the characters).
Definitely clean enough, sans some mild language here and there, and a mention of a plastic vagina. No sordid sex scenes, but those would feel out of place in this story. If it were a movie, it’d probably only be a PG-13. I specifically enjoyed that it was a full-length book being treated as a full-length book, instead of a short story. Price point was spot-on, as well, and I would like to see the next book pick up when Jane lands in London. I’m just saying…
The Swimmer’s Assistant by Amber Myers
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Self (?)
Price Point: $.99 (Amazon Kindle)